Canadian Senator Murray Sinclair has partnered with Dr. Jane Goodall to introduce the Jane Goodall Act, which, if passed, will become one of the strongest animal laws in history. This bill could send shockwaves that transform the legal standing of animals, not only in Canada, but across the world.
We need to urge the Canadian Senate to pass this landmark bill to give elephants, dolphins, great apes, and other animals the right to live free from hunting, captivity, and abuse.
The Jane Goodall Act, S218, would ban new captivity of great apes and elephants, and the use of them, including cetaceans, in performances. It would also strengthen an existing but flawed ban on the importation of elephant ivory and other hunting trophies, and would grant legal standing to great apes, elephants, whales, and dolphins. Granting animals legal standing would be a watershed event that would transform the landscape of animal protection in Canada.
Great apes, elephants, and cetaceans are all intelligent animals capable of suffering, they also have rich emotional and social lives. Yet sadly, in the case of animals in zoos, they are forced to live their lives imprisoned behind bars, then shipped away or killed when they are no longer needed. In the case of the trade in exotic species, animals are kidnapped from their homes, separated from their families, and condemned to a life behind bars, or are killed outright for their horns or fur.
More broadly, this bill would formalize a new language in the discourse of animal protection, one that acknowledges their sentience, and their emotional and social intelligence. It would be founded on the principle that animals deserve to be treated as individuals with legal standing and rights.
Unfortunately, it will grandfather in animals who are currently in captivity, and it allows for exceptions to the ban on captivity for the sake of “conservation, welfare, or non-harmful scientific research.” All of this is lamentable and must be remedied with time.
The bill has been structured to allow the government to extend provisions to other species kept in captivity, such as big cats, through the Noah Clause. Additionally, to stress a crucial point, the bill would point the way towards a transformation in how Canadian society treats and regards animals.
Not only does this bill have to make it through the Senate, it will also have to make it through the House of Commons, facing opposition from animal exploitation industries including zoos, hunting, and safari organizations.
While Senator Sinclair retired on January 31, he is projecting confidence that there is “very broad” support for the bill across the Canadian Senate. Should the bill ultimately pass the Senate, Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith has said he will sponsor the bill in the House.
Should it pass, the Jane Goodall Act will join the ranks of the most important pieces of animal protection legislation in world history.
You can help by urging the Canadian Senate to pass this landmark bill to protect animals!
1. If you live in Canada, please call the Canadian Senate to urge swift passage of the Jane Goodall Act at 1-800-267-7362
Additionally, you may wish to also call George Furey, Speaker of the Senate of Canada, to urge him to expedite the passage of the Jane Goodall Act at 613-992-4416
2. Please sign In Defense of Animals’ letter to all the members of the Canadian Senate to urge passage of this bill by signing HERE!
Content courtesy of In Defense of Animals. Help them continue fighting for animals, people, and the environment by making a donation HERE!